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Speaker Larry Householder should resign, and all dark money donations should be returned

Ohio’s Republican political operatives have created a culture of corruption, regularly relying on their relationships with big business to win positions of power and line their pockets. Five of Ohio’s top Republican influencers were arrested Tuesday by the FBI and accused of a multi-year plot to funnel $1.3 billion directly from Ohioans’ pockets to First Energy. The corrupt move also crushed renewable energy investment, thwarting First Energy’s competitors. In exchange, First Energy allegedly donated at least $60 million to bank accounts controlled by Householder. Republican candidates and elected officials across Ohio benefited from Householder’s substantial donations to their campaigns. The others arrested Tuesday included former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matthew Borges; Republican lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes; and Republican political strategist Jeff Longstreth.

During these uncertain times when all our lives are at risk from a once-in-a lifetime pandemic, Ohioans need leaders who will look out for their best interests. Time and again Ohio’s Republican elite have rigged the political system in their favor through often-shady relationships with corporate overlords. Speaker Householder came to power after former Republican Speaker Rosenberger resigned amid a different federal investigation into public corruption and payday lending corporations.

The Montgomery County Democratic Party demands that Larry Householder resign as Speaker of the House. In addition, all candidates, elected officials, and political organizations that received donations from Householder and his dark money entities should immediately return them. Dirty money does not belong in our political system.

This sordid story shows that it has never been more important for everyone to make their voices heard by registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot so they can vote safely at home this November.